10% of heart attacks occur when an artery blocks up
Only 10% of heart attacks happen this way because the plaque has been stable for so long and the body has compensated by building extra blood vessels around the diseases artery called collaterals. The body is incredible isn’t it?
There may well be symptoms for many years, such as angina and shortness of breath.
But what about the other 90% of heart attacks? How do they occur?
Well, like all science, a process is followed. We now know that 90% of heart attacks do not occur from the old stable plaques that almost shut off an artery, but from younger plaques, which do not close off more than perhaps 20, 30 or 40% of the blood flow.
These plaques are formed when damage is done to the inner lining of the arteries, which is just one cell thick, and called the endothelium. It’s the tiny inner layer you can see.
Certain foods will cause firstly cellular elements of the blood to get sticky, including your white blood cells, your platelets responsible for clotting get sticky, your LDL cholesterol gets sticky and from there, the LDL cholesterol migrates across the endothelium and into the subendothelial space.
Once in this space, it becomes oxidised by free radicals, unstable molecules essentially. This oxidised LDL cholesterol is seen by the body as the enemy and so it calls in the SWAT team, white blood cells.
Once the white blood cells cross into the subendothelial space, they take over the oxidised cholesterol but themselves become so full of cholesterol that we end up with the most evil of all evil, and we call it a foam cell.
These foam cells over time aid plaque build up, and also elaborate nasty chemical substances, namely stromelysin, elastase, collagenase and myeloperioxidase. These are utter rascals, which begin to erode the tiny fibrous cap over a plaque. The cap over the plaque containing all these awful chemicals is very thin, as thin as a cobweb.
Then as the cap is eroded, its contents suddenly rush out into the flow of blood causing the body to put a stop to it.
As the body puts a stop to it, a thrombus, or blot clot is formed.
This stops blood flow to all of the heart muscle downstream of the clot and because the event happens over a very short period of time, typically minutes, the body has no time to build any collaterals.
And so this awful sequence of events leads to a heart attack. And, as most plaques only 20,30 or 40% occlude the blood vessel, very often there are no symptoms before the event. In fact, for around 1 in 3 men, and the statistics show that women are catching up with men, the first symptom is sudden death.
This is the average man who was never sick a day in his life but suddenly died of a heart attack, being slim and trim doesn’t remove risk.
By understanding the foods to eat that mean your strengthen the cap on your plaque, you are able to make yourself health attack proof.
If you’ve decided that now is the right time to make positive changes to your health, forever then you can apply for a discovery session.
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